NFL Refuses to Let Honor Guard View Super Bowl

January 22, 2009 By
Posted in Uncategorized

The NFL has allowed the military troops presenting the national colors at the Super Bowl to stay and watch the game after the ceremony since 2002. The military plays a large role in most of the Super Bowls, providing color guards, fly-overs, and paratroopers that land on the field during opening ceremonies. But, this year, those troops are being snubbed by the NFL.

My youngest Marine called me this morning. In the course of the conversation he made mention of being part of the Color Guard for the ceremonies at the Super Bowl. He has been part of other Color Guards at other games and has been able to enjoy the entire game after presenting the Colors. HOWEVER, this will not be the case this time. The 12 man/women color guard will be presenting the Colors and then will be escorted out of the stadium and therefore not allowed to see the game. Steven and the 11 others are quite upset about this and have asked that I see if I could contact someone and have that changed.

Read the entire post at The Thunder Run.

I called the Super Bowl Host Committee to inquire about this and was told that it was an NFL decision. The Committee is claiming to have nothing to do with it. But, they provided me with a point of contact at the NFL. After being passed around, I was put in contact with a PR rep, Joanna Hunter, who refused to answer her phone or return my calls. I left several messages explaining who I was and requesting an interview with the league on this decision. I also sent emails. Both avenues were ignored.

This is an embarrassment for the league. The troops have done so much for the League and the League has done a lot for the troops. The problem I have with this isn’t the point that the troops can’t watch the Super Bowl for free. It’s the point that the troops are providing a service during the Super Bowl and getting the shaft for it.

Bruce Springsteen (*cough, hack, wheeze) and the E Street Band is playing at the half-time show. I wonder if they will likewise be escorted off the field after their performance. More likely, the band will enjoy either sideline access or luxurious box seats free of charge.

The military should swiftly pull their support from the NFL and not allow the troops to present the colors if they are going to treated this way. I will personally be boycotting any advertisers of the Super Bowl until they admit their mistake and switch positions immediately.

If I get a response to my inquiries, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, send them your thoughts. The NFL Commissioner is Roger Goodell. His email address is Roger.Goodell2@nfl.net and you can call his office at (212) 450-2000 or (212) 450-2027.

15 Responses to NFL Refuses to Let Honor Guard View Super Bowl

  1. I also have emailed someone. The contact I emailed (and helpfully posted on my own site..lol) is:

    Mallory.Steinberg@NFL.com

  2. I’m posting this everywhere I can today CJ, and emailing as well! Thanks for letting us know!

  3. While I am not a football fan, I find this to be humiliating and will continue my ignoring of all NFL activities as usual. P.C. is getting more stupid all the time.

  4. http://bluepelican.blogspot.com/2009/01/nfl-snubs-military-at-super-bowl.html

    I have a feeling that a bit of publicity might change the NFL’s position. Maybe they remember Pat Tillman, who played for the Arizona Cardinals before volunteering for the Army. He died tragically in a friendly-fire incident in Afganistan. I think Pat would appreciate letting the military honor guard watch the game from the sidelines.

  5. Thanks CJ for letting us know about this. My e-mail of protest has been sent!

  6. Just sent my note of protest to the Mallory.Steinberg@NFL.com and hope it does some good. God bless!

  7. I’m so glad they reversed their decision. Let’s hope they’ll follow through and keep their promise. Way to go CJ and everyone who made their voice heard!

  8. You know this is wrong, what would you do if they just decided not to show up for the displaying of the colors ( that would never happen). I think it is so wrong of the nfl to do what it is doing and they need to stay and watch. They are doing you a favor by being there you can at least let them stay and see the game. What is 12 seats or even standing on the sidelines. This is wrong of the nfl.

  9. The NFL WILL host the Honor Guard. I received the following reply from Mallory Steinberg:

    Thank you for your email.

    Our longstanding support of the military is a proud NFL tradition,
    including numerous NFL players and coaches traveling overseas with the
    USO to visit troops. Last summer, Commissioner Goodell, Drew Brees, and
    Osi Umenyiora went on a USO trip to Iraq and Afghanistan with the
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen.

    Since we had not heard about this directly from the military, we
    contacted our military liaison for the color guard immediately to
    discuss the issue. After speaking with our military liaison for the
    color guard, we will host the members of the color guard (12 people) in
    the stadium.

    The background is this:
    The members of the color guard have always been our guests at a Super
    Bowl party in a compound on the stadium grounds where they watch the
    game on big-screen TVs and enjoy food and beverage. That is how we have
    done it every year. The military provides an intra-service color guard
    as part of our pre-game tribute to the military that also includes the
    military fly-over of the stadium. Then we arrange a place for the color
    guard to watch the game along with other pre-game and halftime show
    participants (more than 2,000 people).

    We appreciate your commitment to the NFL.

    Best,

    Mallory Steinberg
    NFL Communications and Public Affairs

  10. Hey Christie, I got the same reply from Mr. Steinberg….don’t you just hate form letters. ;-).

  11. All, I actually spoke with the NFL Spokesman, Greg Aiello earlier today. I also requested he send me a written response, which he did. I’ve posted his response on ASP.

  12. Well, sounds like that is solved, Thank you for not sitting by, but going to bat for our troops. As the mother of an Army Sgt. in Iraq I sure would have joined in protesting this kind of behavior. I’m glad the NFL has chosen to do the right thing.

  13. Here is another reason to not support those advertising. AB (AKA, Inbev) thinks they are like Walmart. Not only is much of their produce swill, but they have told their suppliers not to expect being paid for up to 120 days and if they do not like it, we might have to find other suppliers.

  14. As a member of said color guard, I wanted to confirm to all that we did in fact hear we will be given tickets. Also I know a lot of responses have thought of us as greedy. For us, it was not a deal breaker if we did not get seats. I personally was very excited to be apart of this, an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life. We were honored to do this event regardless of seats. I wanted to say thanks though for all those who thought it was unfair for us to not be given seats. We have 12 tickets that we’re grateful for. We just hope we make you proud because we are proud to serve this nation.

  15. Pingback: NFL Makes Amends « A Soldier's Perspective

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